The season 1 finale of Brave New World begins with Bernard and Mustafa discussing Henry’s death. With Bernard now promoted to position of Director, he turns his attention to stopping John no matter what.
Lenina runs into trouble at work as Vivian starts showing resentment toward her after Frannie’s reconditioning. Midway through talking, Lenina hears Bernard summon her to his office through her optic. It’s all too much for her though and she rejects him, stamping down on her optic.
Bernard eventually runs into Lenina outside though and they discuss how to deal with their emotions over Henry’s death. He then goes on to admit being the one who put John’s memories out to the public. “He was your friend Bernard,” She says incredulously before deciding to pack her things and leave New London.
CJack60 reports to John about what he’s done with Henry. After hearing the click of a Soma dispenser nearby, John eventually speaks up. He tells them to choose between being happy or free. One after another, the dispensers clatter to the ground; they’ve decided to be free. As John tries to leave and check on Lenina however, Jack instead offers the Epsilon to look given he’s a wanted man.
Mustafa meanwhile speaks to Helm about John’s emotions. Given what she’s uncovered and how deep she’s looked, there’s fragments of Indra wedged in there too. This inevitably brings Mustafa back to Indra who confidently tells her creator, in cryptic words, that change is coming.
It’s here things really start to descend into anarchy as New London’s problems are heightened ten-fold by John and the other Jacks destroying the supply of Soma pills. With no more Soma and very few pills left to go around, the once-stable world becomes completely unbalanced.
In the middle of this stands Lenina. She’s stopped on her way out of New London by Frannie, who captures her and takes the girl away. Unfortunately things take a turn for the worst when the Epsilon Workers head up to the surface, following John’s example by violently killing people. “We’re just following your actions,” CJack60 tells him.
As John tries fruitlessly to stop them, CJack60 finds his way to Bernard’s office. After a lot of contemplation, CJack60 eventually decides against killing the Director and tells him to stay down and out of sight.
After her conditioning, Frannie manages to stop herself from killing Lenina but the damage around her has already been done. CJack60 sees the error of his ways too late and despite his fruitless attempts to stop his brothers, witnesses them stabbing and killing New Londoners.
In the wake of the bloodshed, Bernard and John find themselves face to face. With bodies lying all around, they discuss what’s happened between them. Bernard calls him a disease but their fight is eventually interrupted by Lenina showing up. As Bernard walks away, the pair talk. “Everywhere you go, things fall apart,” She tells John sadly as he tries in vain to keep Lenina with him.
While this is going on, Mustafa takes CJack60 down to the basement where it’s revealed that Jack’s real name (or at least his creator’s) is actually Elliot. Mustafa leads him into a forest where whispers circle him, telling him this is all an illusion. Eventually this leads to him cutting the optic out of his face and seeing the truth of what’s happening.
The Innermost Circle of what’s driving New London comes in the form of comatose men and women hooked up to the system. With CJack60’s help, Mustafa begins shutting off the power. Midway through their actions, CJack60 stops when he finds the face of his maker, Elliot. As the two stare one another down, CJack60 starts choking him and kills the man.
The machine starts to lose power and as it does, Bernard finds himself in a red void full of floating bubbles. Before him stands the holographic presence of Indra. As this strange world dissipates and shatters, Bernard awakens to find himself by the cliff-edge outside New London. In his left right hand happens to be a strange gold box.
Helm’s there too and asks him what we’re all thinking. “What’s in the box?” Quietly, he evades her question as they enter a ship and fly away. Their destination happens to be that of the Savage Lands. In particular, they track down the Resistance Leader as Bernard remembered the last words she told him about saving and freeing people. Looking upon the contents of the box, the woman looks at him sternly and tells him to get in the car. Quite what’s inside remains unknown but Bernard’s eye does turn a strange shade of yellow – is Indra inside him?
Back in New London, John watches as Mustafa speaks to Lenina about her purpose. Indra has now been released from the system and is out in the world, experiencing everything for the first time. Lenina is now seemingly in control of New London (or at least what’s left of it.) As she smiles at the horizon, the last we see of John is with him hooked up to a happily-ever-after simulation. Whether this was his choice or not remains to be seen, but he gets to enjoy Lenina’s company nonetheless.
As the season ends, it leaves the door wide open for a second season that may or may not arrive.
The Review Write-Up
Instead of bowing things out with a conclusive, satisfying end to our various story arcs, Brave New World instead decides to leave the door open for a second season. How wise that is remains to be seen but by the end of this first season, it’s clear that this sci-fi series has tried hard to be a new Westworld but failed to really hit those same highs. It’s a shame too because the ideas and concept is really quite intriguing but the execution has failed to really reach the heights it so easily could have.
The big question now lies around what’s inside that gold box. Could it be the formula to creating Soma pills? Or could it actually be Indra herself? Or at least the hardware encasing her in. Either way, the ending is unnecessarily convoluted and feels like a big misstep from a more concise finale. Having said that though, Brave New World has been an enjoyable enough ride and it’ll be interesting to see what the future is for this show going forward.